In recent years, law enforcement has demonstrated the need for increased training and new technology, but the cost of this technology is often well beyond what public resources can support. That is where you and the Columbia Police Foundation come in. The Foundation is committed to placing the latest technology and specialized equipment in the hands of Columbia police officers. In doing so, the community will help these officers increase their ability to fight crime and to better serve the community. The Foundation works with Chief Burton, the Columbia Police Officers’ Association, and officers to identify specific needs in the Department. We value the partnerships we have established. Through the work of our Community of Supporters, the Foundation was able to provide funding for worthwhile programs in the police department.


Similar to the nationwide Amber Alert system, Operation Lookout was created by then Captain Stephen Monticelli. The program mobilizes hundreds of volunteers and city personnel in the event that a child or endangered person goes missing in the Columbia-Boone County area. First activated in November 2002, a 10-year-old girl with Down Syndrome was located after she disappeared from Blue Ridge Elementary School. A few hours later and the child would have been surrounded by a blanket of darkness. This story is one of the many that Columbia police have responded to involving missing persons. Although successful, this event demonstrated the need to be able to respond to lowlight searches. That is why the Columbia Police Foundation mobilized its community of supporters to raise money to purchase two thermal imaging cameras. Thermal imagers allow officers to locate a missing and endangered person by observing their heat signatures during a search. These cameras also reduce the risk to officers and civilians when tracking dangerous suspects. Within months of launching this successful campaign, Columbia police officers now have access to this technology.


The Columbia Police Department is the only law enforcement agency in the state that provides trauma kits in every police vehicle. The Law Enforcement Trauma Kits contain materials needed to stop blood flow and provide lifesaving assistance to victims of shooting or other serious trauma. In other areas of the country, officers have been able to treat fellow officers and civilians in the crucial moments before medical help arrives. This promotion was successful because of the efforts of KMIZ-TV, HyVee and Michael & Julie Lyman.


The firearms simulator creates a safe and controlled environment for officers to train in split second, use of force decision-making. The technology, much like a life sized video game, presents officers with pre-recorded scenarios and allows the instructor to change the variables in the situation to match the response and actions of the officer. The simulator provides real life scenarios that an officer is likely to face while on the streets. This equipment has become an important tool in training the officers of the Columbia Police Department in not only use of force situations, but also the legal variables that effect their decisions. Along with the simulator, officers review policy, procedures, and law regarding use of force.


The Columbia Police Foundation has raised the funds to purchase, or assist in purchasing, two K9 Officers for the Columbia Police Department. Both K9 Raf and K9 Duncan have joined the Columbia Police Department with the assistance of the Columbia Police Foundation. Raf’s handler¬†is Officer Mike Parsons and Duncan is paired with Officer Kevin Purdy. Both Raf and Duncan are highly trained in tracking, apprehension, and narcotics detection. They have both become valuable and well loved tools for the Columbia Police Department.